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Eighty percent of households saw disposable income fall as rising costs continue to outstrip wage growth

40% of UK households' take-home pay does not cover spending on bills and essentials.


The vast majority of UK households were notably worse off in May, compared to the same period last year, as rising living costs continue to outstrip wage growth, according to the latest Asda Income Tracker.

The decrease in disposable income has been particularly stark for low-earning families, with 40% of UK households falling into negative income territory in May – meaning their take home pay does not cover spending on bills and essentials. The average shortfall for these households was £42.50 per week in May.

In contrast, high-income households enjoyed a 2.1% rise in disposable income in May year-on-year to an average of £754 per week. This is the second successive month of disposable income growth for these households, driven by strong increases in their gross income.

The tracker showed that family disposable income as a whole rose by £1.85 per week in May to an average of £207 per week, a 0.9% increase compared to the same period last year.

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However, even with this increase family finances remain weak, as May’s figure of £207 per week was the second lowest since October 2022. The strain on family disposable incomes is the result of elevated and persistent inflation in essential categories such as food and housing.

Asda says they are continuing to support families during the cost-of-living crisis by keeping prices in check.

The supermarket recently announced it had locked the price of over 500 popular branded and own-label lines to give families more control and certainty over their shopping budgets.

The Asda Income Tracker is a measure of ‘disposable income’ which measures the amount UK households have left to spend on discretionary purchases after paying taxes and essential bills (groceries, utility bills, transport costs, mortgage or rent payments).

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